25 Aug 2010 12:08:00
Transporting energy from Sahara 'not a practical solution'
The complexity of harvesting solar power from the Sahara desert and transporting it to Europe means it is not a practical solution for meeting 2020 targets, it has been claimed.
German physicist Gerhard Knies said that a solution to the continent's energy needs could be the development of a large solar farm in the Sahara Desert and the laying cables under the Mediterranean to feed the power generated into the European energy grid, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Mr Knies predicted that this could supply 15 percent of Europe's energy by the year 2050.
However, a spokesperson for The Renewable Energy Centre.co.uk said that "the complexity of the land, costs and political frameworks which would surround the whole issue" mean that the project would not be able to contribute to the 20 percent emissions cut the European Union is seeking by the year 2020.
"The statement from Knies, although perhaps a true one, is also a substantial generalisation in terms of it being a solution," she explained.
The spokesperson added that there would also be a question as to where the "financial burden" for such a project would lie.